No need to panic, insists Vettel


Though Silverstone, which is formed from a former RAF airfield is essentially as flat as a pancake, the Northamptonshire circuit served up a roller-coaster weekend, especially for Ferrari fans.

While Friday saw the red cars left for dust by Mercedes, Saturday morning's final practice session saw the Italian team, complete with engine upgrade, hit back, Sebastian Vettel serving notice that Lewis Hamilton should take nothing for granted on his home track.

Saturday afternoon was entirely different however, Hamilton giving a masterclass performance, which left Vettel seriously impressed, the German remarking that the Briton "owned" qualifying.

Race day saw a further masterclass from the 3-time world champion, and winner of the last three successive British Grands Prix, while Vettel, already struggling after a start which saw him lose precious time behind Max Verstappen, was to suffer even further when a penultimate lap puncture saw him robbed of a podium finish just moments after a similar failure for his teammate.

Speaking at the end of a day which saw Mercedes further extend its lead in the Constructors' Championship - the German team now 55 points clear - and Vettel's lead cut to just one point, the German insisted there is no need for panic.

"The car is great, it has been fantastic in the race again today," he told reporters. "There is no reason to panic or to worry.

"But we do need to be aware that they are very quick and there are a couple of advantages that we need to work on," he continued. "Then it could be a different picture."

Asked about the puncture which left his title hopes equally flat, he said: "It was very sudden. The tyres were going down but nothing out of the ordinary, so it was quite sudden when the tyre decided not to take me to the end of the race.

Previously, the German had dismissed claims that Ferrari was at fault for the punctures, leaving he and his teammate out on the softs for too long.

"I don't think there's anyone particularly to blame," he told Sky Sports F1. "Hindsight is great, with hindsight it is easy, but at the time it felt okay. Kimi, I think, had similar issues, and his tyres were at least five or six laps fresher. So I think it caught us both by surprise."

"Asked if the race was a "disaster" for him, he said: "It could have been a little bit better for sure, but disaster I don't think so. I think we had a good car, especially in the corners. The balance was alright.

"The brakes caught fire at the start which compromised the start," he added, "and from there it was a difficult race. I didn't get past Max, I did it with the pitstop, and then it was looking like P3, P4. It was clear that Valtteri would come, obviously he benefitted in the beginning because I got stuck. Overall small things here and there led to a busy afternoon."

Check out our Sunday gallery from Silverstone, here.

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Published: 17/07/2017
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